Help! Need to get off canned + onto home-made ASAP

da hoomin

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I need help and a really quick jump-start for making home-made food, so that I can start transitioning Malý and Hezký asap - and be able to go as slowly as possible.

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Malý and Hezký are 2.5 year old sister + brother tabbies. They rescued me when they were only 4 weeks old. They were in pretty rough shape when they first got home but with formula and lots of love, they perked right up. After the 1st week they refused to be syringe-fed, but they drink their formula out of their saucers. I slowly added canned food to it by the end of the 2nd week, they wouldn't take the formula at all. [Even tho I told them their doctor said they should.]

This is the Cliff Notes version of the Tale of Two Tummies:

The brand of food they'd been eating for 15 months was bought out. The company denies that there were any changes made in the ingredients. They're lying. Both were extremely sick, especially Hezký.

In the last 14 months, we have tried brand after brand after brand. They made it clear when they were only a few months old that they like chicken and turkey and that is it. Right now, the turkey is getting kind of iffy too.

With all of this trial and error, I'm as sure as is reasonably possible, what ingredients they just cannot digest. Hezký is more sensitive and just one meal with the wrong ingredients and he'll be sick for two days.

We've pretty much gone through every reasonable canned food there is. Right now, the only thing I've been able to find - that they'll eat - is Nutro.

I just found out Friday night, that Nutro has had seventy-eight recalls from 1998 thru 2014. [The article is dated Jan. 2014] I'm sick. I'm done with mass-produced food. I had just ordered another month's worth for them. That will be here in a couple of days. So I've got a month to figure this out.

I've been pouring through the freeze-dried/dehydrated/air-dried/raw/heaven knows WHAT else . . . and when I weed out the ones with ingredients they can't eat, that are potentially harmful or that we've already tried and they just don't like - I've got 2, maybe 3, options - and I can't really afford any of them.

This leaves me with home-made. I have zero problems with that, I'm a stay-at-home cat-mom. But I do need help.

I'm not going to do raw just yet. I'm going to start with cooked, with the plan of moving to partially cooked, chicken and turkey. Both to ease their tummies into it and to ease me into it.

I need a really quick jump-start for this so that I can start transitioning them asap - and be able to go as slowly as possible.

Just bare-bone minimums - what do I need to get us through the 1st month? Point me to somewhere you trust. I need to do some massive cramming on supplements and recipes. I've been studying http://www.catinfo.org/ for two days and I can do this. I do need more sources and help.

Once I get them off Nutro, I will actually be able to breathe and will fine-tune everything. Which I'd assume is an on-going process anyway.

Funny thing is, this is the diet I was looking into to help raise Maly's siezure threshold.

Many thanks in advance!

THE NO! LIST: 

ANY FORM OF Grain - [exception = flax]

ANY FORM OF Starch - potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, etc

alfalfa [grain - duh]

montmorillonite clay

psyllium

garlic powder

cranberries

sulfate mendione

sodium ascorbate

fishmeal

bisulfate mendione - synthetic vitamin k3

D2

plant ingredients

carrageenan 
 
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LTS3

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I need a really quick jump-start for this so that I can start transitioning them asap - and be able to go as slowly as possible.

Just bare-bone minimums - what do I need to get us through the 1st month? Point me to somewhere you trust. I need to do some massive cramming on supplements and recipes. I've been studying http://www.catinfo.org/ for two days and I can do this. I do need more sources and help.
Easiest way to do home cooked is to use a pre-mix such as EZComplete or UStew. There are more listed here: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/264153/home-cooked-cat-food-resources You'll have to check the ingredients of each pre-mix to see if it contains a no-no ingredient for your cats.
 

lisahe

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Easiest way to do home cooked is to use a pre-mix such as EZComplete or UStew. There are more listed here: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/264153/home-cooked-cat-food-resources You'll have to check the ingredients of each pre-mix to see if it contains a no-no ingredient for your cats.
I agree about premixes. And our cats love EZcomplete, which I use to make cooked food: I combine various cuts and quantities of chicken, turkey, and pork. (I may try some duck out on them...) They eat the equivalent of about one large meal of it a day -- it's worked out very well for us! A nice plus: our vet was very impressed with the ingredient list.
 

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Agreed with the other two comments. EZcomplete would be your best option, and it's well loved by most cats. In terms of canned foods, I mentioned in your other posts probably the only two foods that match your needs are Feline Naturals and Ziwipeak, both on the higher end in terms of cost, tho. Feline Naturals also has freeze dried options. If you want to try a commercial raw food Rad Cat is great. It's also well loved by most cats and very easy to digest. 
 
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da hoomin

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Thank you LTS3  
 LisaHE
MissMimz 


Can someone help me with figuring out the approximate amounts of meat/premix/anything else I will need?

[That might be in your links - I'm just starting to read. ]

Malý is 12 pounds and Hezký is 14 pounds. But Malý is much more active and eats more than her brother does.

EDIT: 

ps. What is the difference between pre-mix for raw and pre-mix for cooked?

Which nutrients need to not be cooked? Probiotics? and . . .?
 
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lisahe

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Thank you LTS3  
 LisaHE
MissMimz 


Can someone help me with figuring out the approximate amounts of meat/premix/anything else I will need?

[That might be in your links - I'm just starting to read. ]

Malý is 12 pounds and Hezký is 14 pounds. But Malý is much more active and eats more than her brother does.

EDIT: 

ps. What is the difference between pre-mix for raw and pre-mix for cooked?

Which nutrients need to not be cooked? Probiotics? and . . .?
You are welcome!

I only know about EZcomplete. I can say that that the EZcomplete supplement is good for boneless meats, raw or cooked. You use one scoop of the supplement for every 1.5 ounces of meat. If you're cooking the meat, you should weigh it before cooking it. The scoop comes with the supplement. You must cool the meat before you add the supplement. All you'll need is the meat, the supplement, and a (digital) kitchen scale. (You could have a butcher measure out all the meat for you but I'd find the cumbersome and scales aren't expensive.)

You'll get the most complete information on the Food Fur Life site, which is right here. Since our cats eat lots of different kinds of food, I have no idea how much EZcomplete food they'd eat if that was their only food. I think the biggest piece of advice I'd give you is to encourage you to try various kinds of meat in various cuts, also cutting, shredding, mincing, grinding, and otherwise fixing it so you find the texture they like best. Our cats were indifferent to their food when I ground it but love it when I hand pull/shred the meat.

Good luck and ask away!
 
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da hoomin

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The pre-mix I've found that I like the best is  Alnutrin with Calcium.  

I like this one because you can choose to use egg shells for it's calcium source. Egg shells are easiest on the digestive system.

I'm excited about this! I'm actually going to be giving them REAL FOOD! If I had read some of the articles I've found in the last few days - a year ago - TWO YEARS AGO - OMG - the things they put in our fur-babies food . . .

I gave them a bit of raw ground turkey with their canned supper tonight. It disappeared right away, but neither wanted a 2nd helping. They did however, help me eat the cooked turkey. They love poached chicken breast! They think it's a treat and therefore since the very first time they had it was in the living room - that's where it must always be eaten.  LOL They will eat it when I put it in their saucers - but only later and after I've shared mine with them. I'm not sure they realize it's actually food? 

NOW - my question is: How do you store the food you make?

A billion little containers in the freezer? How do you mark what flavor/texture they are?

I'm not sure how much they will need per meal - especially while we're in the transition phase. From what I understand, real food will fill them up better and they won't need to eat as much? They share a 3oz can per meal now. Would making the containers 3oz make sense or should I make them smaller? 

AND - I'm going to add a bit of benefiber [instead of pysllium,] Omega 3 and probiotics.

Oh no. I just remembered that my big mixing bowl crashed to the floor last year. Add that to the list along with a scale that weighs grams. What else am I going to need? 

Malý had THREE seizures today. :( I can hardly wait to get her and Hezký off commercial food and it's un-digestible ingredients and it long list of chemicals!
 

LTS3

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Here's a thread with storage suggestions: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/284287/how-do-you-pack-and-store-your-raw-food If freezer space is limited, I would just portion the food out into a day or two worth of meals for all the cats, not individual meal sizes for each cat. The food is fine if it sits in the fridge for up to two days or so. You can label the containers with freezer tape. If you use freezer bags, most bag have a label part that you can write on or just use freezer tape.

Alnutrin is good. I think there's a recipe either here on TCS or on the Alnutrin web site for how to use the product with cooked meat.
 

lisahe

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I'm glad to hear you're moving ahead with this, da hoomin! If, by any chance, your cats don't like the Alnutrin, EZcomplete also has eggshell as its calcium source: that was an important point for me, too.

As for storage, I cook up twelve-ounce batches of meat (one scoop of EZcomplete is for 1.5 ounces of uncooked meat, so everything I cook is in multiples of 1.5 ounces), divide/portion it out, and keep enough for two feedings in the refrigerator, freezing the rest in small one-feeding containers. I just mark the containers (mostly a reminder about whether it's EZc or Rad Cat) with a Sharpie.
(It's semi-permanent, I've found...) I do keep quite a few little containers in the freezer: there's portioned Rad Cat (two kinds) and semi-portioned EZcomplete as well as pre-weighed packages of meat for future cooking. I recently bought little freezer bins that have made it easier to keep track of what's what and how much is left.

Our cats actually seem to prefer homemade food after it's been frozen; of course I'm not sure why but it always seems a little, hmm, mushier and that it's absorbed more cooking water. Depending on what foods (and calories) you've been feeding, it may take a bit of experimentation to figure out how much homemade food your cats will eat at each meal. I do find that raw and homecooked foods tend to fill the cats up better than canned foods but there are lots of factors at work!

Good luck!
 
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da hoomin

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ACK! Sorry for the giant text in my previous posts!

Just got our first package of Alnutrin today. I opted for the pre-measured packets because I wan't sure if I'd have a scale by now or not. So the powder was actually double-wrapped. 

Hezký   sniffed the package, grabbed it and ran! In the few seconds he had it, he'd put multiple punctures in it, trying to get at whatever was in there! LOL

I think that's a pretty good sign they'll like it. We'll see, tomorrow is cooking day!
 
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